After sweeping #15 Pratt on Tuesday, the Seward County Lady Saints softball team didn’t have much time to relish the victories as less than 24 hours later they were on the field again as this time the Lamar Runnin Lopes were in town to take on the defending Region VI Champions. At the end of the day, the Lady Saints didn’t look real worn out to onlookers as they had all smiles on their face after a double header sweep to move them to 4-0 on the young season.
Game one was scoreless through the first two and a half innings as both pitchers wriggled out of jams with traffic on the bases as Seward came to hit in the bottom of the 3rd. The top of the Lady Saint lineup strung together three straight hits including a leadoff double from Alicia Reyes capped by a pair of RBI groundouts to put the home team up 2-0 after three. Pitcher Erin Roufosse had a quick 4th inning for Seward, retiring the Lopes in order but the Lady Saints would go just as quickly in their half of the inning and the game remained 2-0 after 4. Lamar put together their biggest threat of the game in the 5th as Casey Plowman would double and a pair of two out walks would load the bases for left fielder Monique Brown. Brown wouldn’t capitalize on the chance as she rolled a grounder to third base and Brianna Baron chucked it across the diamond to record the third out of the inning and squash the Lamar threat. It was still 2-0 in the top of the 6th as Sheena Hardman led off with a single for Lamar and later came around to score on a Seward error to cut the deficit in half 2-1. Seward would answer however as they nearly batted around in their half of the 6th inning scoring 4 runs on RBI singles from Lynda Musick, Reyes, and Shelby Casey to put themselves comfortably in front 6-1. Roufosse would do the rest as she worked around a 2 out bean ball to get Hardman to pop out and end the game as Seward took their 3rd straight 6-1. The Lady Saints outhit Lamar 11-5 in the game thank in large part to the top of their order in Reyes, Casey, and Marisa Coats who combined went 7 for 12 in the win. Roufosse gave up just the one unearned run to pick up her 2nd victory of the season while striking out 4 and walking 3.
Looking to start 4-0 for the first time in Head Coach Andrea Gustafson’s reign with the Lady Saints, Seward laced up the cleats for game two hoping for a repeat performance. Pitcher Sydney Cicchetti came out blazing again for Seward as she retired the Lopes in order in the first and gave the Lady Saints a chance to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the inning on a pair of free passes and RBI’s from Kelsea Blackstock and Brittany Kent. Neither team could scratch out a run in the 2nd and the score was 2-0 when Lamar broke out their bats in the 3rd. The Lopes took advantage of a leadoff walk and three singles to score three runs of their own and Seward found themselves trailing for the first time this season. They wouldn’t trail for long as their top hitter Marisa Coats doubled to lead off the inning and was later driven in on a sac fly from Blackstock to tie the score at 4 apiece. Cicchetti would sit the Lopes down in order in the 4th and 5th to give Seward a chance to retake the lead in the bottom half of the 5th. After a one out single from Blackstock, Kent bounced into a fielder’s choice to find her way to first. With two outs she stole second and was driven in with a clutch two out RBI from Leah Sitter to put the Lady Saints up 4-3. The Lopes weren’t ready to go down easy however as they answered the Lady Saints run with one of their own in the top half of the 6th as they scratched out a two out run on an RBI single from 2nd baseman Hillary Hunter to tie the game back up at 4. Seward had had enough of the close game however and put together a 6 hit 6th inning to score 4 runs to make it 8-4 and out of reach for Lamar. In the inning the Lady Saints picked up an RBI single from Coats and a 2 RBI double from Sitter to take the 4 run lead. A worn out Cicchetti reached deep and finished the game popping up three straight Lopes as Seward came away with the 8-4 win to move to 4-0 on the year. In the win Seward picked up 2 hit efforts from Reyes, Coats, Blackstock, and Sitter while Blackstock and Sitter also combined to knock in 5 runs.
Seward now sits 4-0 for the first time in over 7 years as they look to back up a 40 win campaign in 2009. Their next tests will be in the Lone Star State as they go to Clarendon to take on the Lady Bulldogs in a double header Saturday before returning south Tuesday to take on the Lady Plainsmen of Frank Phillips in Borger. Their next home contests will come next weekend as they host top 25 Trinidad State on Saturday at 1:00 followed by a double header tilt with reigning Region IX Champions Otero on Sunday at 2:00.